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Nicholson Companies Adds a Virtual Project Manager to The Team with SKYSITE

The expertise of The Nicholson Companies comprises development, design, build, and general contractor prowess under the leadership of founder Tom Nicholson. Founded over 20 years ago, Nicholson has grown into one of the most recognized names in residential infill development and custom luxury home construction near the ocean beaches of Southern California and Hawaii.

With a focus on design and build, Nicholson has earned a reputation for efficiency, speed, and quality. Taking a set of plans, they evaluate and implement a client’s design as a general contractor or work with clients to create and implement a design-build home.

Nicholson is a fully licensed general contractor in California and Hawaii, providing services that include general contracting, development design and management, construction and project management, site supervision, building contract evaluation, interior design, and customer service.

The Challenge

Purchasing Manager Dorothy Didion wanted to find a way to speed up the already robust communication among Nicholson’s project teams to help deal with new business. Leveraging new cloud tools seemed a natural start. The Nicholson Companies had been using ARC’s PlanWell Enterprise technology. So when ARC introduced SKYSITE, Nicholson decided to see what the technology offered.

SKYSITE, developed by ARC Document Solutions, is an integrated cloud-based construction document management solution with automated mobile and desktop sync. Unlike BoxTM or DropboxTM, it’s made from the foundation up for the construction industry.

The Nicholson Companies saw the value of a construction-specific cloud app and they signed up for a free SKYSITE trial to test it out.

Keeping the geographically dispersed and very active team updated on fast-moving projects was a key goal. Doing more with less while quickly answering the needs of their clients was also another primary motivation.

With employees in Honolulu and Newport Beach, Nicholson recognized the competitive advantage they could gain by increasing the speed and efficiency of their project teams collaborating on construction documents and project information.

Faster project starts, speedier communication among the project teams, and faster project delivery could all be achieved with a construction document solution that easily connects to the internet and the existing mobile devices the Nicholson teams were already using.

Other important considerations were that any collaboration solution had to be easy to use as well as cost-effective. After testing the technology on a project, Didion approved the purchase and equipped the team with SKYSITE.

The Results

Immediately it was apparent to Nicholson employees that SKYSITE is user-friendly. All the superintendents in the field found it easy to use their iPads with SKYSITE. Designers found that the tablet view was a powerful tool when discussing plans with clients.

Uploading new plans and notifying the team of project updates was much more efficient and faster than using email and PDFs.

“I love that since most of us carry tablets with us everywhere we go, it keeps us all on the same page,” says Didion. ”It’s the best product I have ever seen for our collaboration and coordination requirements. Using SKYSITE is like having another project manager on the team.”

Even more important to Nicholson was how easy SKYSITE was to learn. Given the fast-paced nature of construction in a booming economy, slowing down to spend days learning or installing a new technology was not an option.

To speed things up, a SKYSITE expert from one of ARC’s 170+ locations was able to help Didion and the team learn about the app with a hands-on training session at one of Nicholson’s offices.

Surprising results included spending less time in traffic on congested highways. The project teams eliminated unnecessary return trips back to the office or to the reprographer to pick up updated documents. A large reduction in the cost of overnight deliveries was another unexpected benefit. Nicholson’s subcontractors also appreciated quicker digital delivery of blueprints and mark-ups.

As to the main value of SKYSITE provided The Nicholson Companies, Didion remarks, “Using SKYSITE saves so much time and money, and we make our subcontractors even faster by being able to send updates and answers to their bidding questions immediately.”

Add your own virtual project manager to your team with SKYSITE.

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